Medically reviewed on May 2, 2018.
Uses of Serostim:
- It is used to help patients with HIV gain weight.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Serostim?
- If you have an allergy to human growth hormone or any other part of Serostim (somatropin for weight gain).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: Breathing problems like sleep apnea; cancer or other tumors like a brain tumor; diabetic eye disease; or illness shortly after open heart surgery, stomach surgery, or accidental injury.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Serostim (somatropin for weight gain).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Serostim (somatropin for weight gain) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Serostim?
For all patients taking Serostim (somatropin for weight gain):
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Serostim (somatropin for weight gain). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- High blood sugar has happened with Serostim (somatropin for weight gain). This includes diabetes that is new or worse. Talk with the doctor.
- Check your blood sugar as you have been told by your doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you have signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take Serostim (somatropin for weight gain).
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Serostim (somatropin for weight gain).
- Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
- Have your eye pressure and eyesight checked as you have been told by the doctor.
- If you have cancer or a tumor or have ever had cancer or a tumor, talk with your doctor. The chance of cancer or tumor growth is raised with Serostim (somatropin for weight gain). The chance of new tumors may also be raised in some patients.
- If you have Turner syndrome, talk with your doctor. The chance of ear infections, high blood pressure, and very bad blood vessel problems like stroke and bleeding in the brain may be raised.
- This medicine may affect how much of some other drugs are in your body. If you are taking other drugs, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while taking Serostim (somatropin for weight gain) with your other drugs.
- If you are 65 or older, use Serostim (somatropin for weight gain) with care. You could have more side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Serostim (somatropin for weight gain) while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
- Some products have benzyl alcohol. Do not give a product that has benzyl alcohol in it to a newborn or infant. Talk with the doctor to see if this product has benzyl alcohol in it.
How is this medicine (Serostim) best taken?
Use Serostim (somatropin for weight gain) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.
- If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
- Follow how to use as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
- Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
- Do not give into skin that is irritated, bruised, red, infected, or scarred.
- Do not shake the solution.
- Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
- Do not use if solution changes color.
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Signs of a weak adrenal gland like a very bad upset stomach or throwing up, very bad dizziness or passing out, muscle weakness, feeling very tired, mood changes, not hungry, or weight loss.
- Signs of low thyroid levels like hard stools (constipation); not able to handle cold; memory problems; mood changes; or a burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
- Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- A fast heartbeat.
- Sweating a lot.
- Mood changes.
- Low mood (depression).
- Change in how you act.
- Change in skin color.
- Chest pain.
- Burning, numbness, pain, or tingling in the hands, arms, legs, or feet.
- Bone pain.
- Very bad muscle or joint pain.
- Change in color or size of a mole.
- Blood in the urine.
- Redness or swelling where the shot is given.
- Skin breakdown where Serostim (somatropin for weight gain) is used.
- Thinning of the skin.
- Raised pressure in the head has rarely happened with Serostim (somatropin for weight gain). The risk may be greater in patients with Turner syndrome or Prader-Willi syndrome. Signs most often happen within the first 8 weeks of starting Serostim (somatropin for weight gain). Call your doctor right away if you have change in eyesight, a very bad headache, upset stomach, or throwing up.
What are some other side effects of Serostim?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Muscle stiffness.
- Not able to sleep.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Belly pain.
- Irritation where the shot is given.
- Signs of a common cold.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Back pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Serostim?
- Store at room temperature.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Use right away after mixing.
- Use right away after mixing or you may store in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Serostim (somatropin for weight gain), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about Serostim (somatropin)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
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- Drug class: growth hormones